A few months ago, I sat on a knitted blanket on the sidelines of a six year old’s soccer game. I choose to take this blanket to every one of my kids’ sporting events to remind myself the process of becoming takes time. Just like this blanket was knit by hand, my kids are in a process of being knit together. Then, when I am tempted to cheer too loudly or yell at kids on the other team for playing too rough, I can be reminded this process of becoming is more about discovering beautiful moments and less about winning.
On this particular day, four girls from each team chased the ball from one side of the field to the other. Some of the girls were naturally talented while others had to work for it. I couldn’t keep my eyes off one little girl on the other team. She had pig tails with pink ribbons and thick rimmed glasses. The other girls sped past her any time she even thought about trying for the ball and each time the ball came in her direction, she looked as if she was terrified of kicking it.
And then she did.
About half-way through the game, the ball landed straight at her feet, she swung her leg and kicked the ball. It wasn’t spectacular, but she did it and before I could blink, she raised her arms into the air and shouted loud enough for all of the parents along the field to hear, “I AM AWESOME!” She was proud of herself, and she didn’t care who knew it. She received the loudest cheers of the day. For. Kicking. The. Ball.
This experience at the soccer game got me thinking about what it would look like if we would each embrace the simplicity of our awesomeness and become willing to spread it around.
I went to a meeting last week, and every single woman attending looked the same. Same boots, same words, same jewelry and something in my gut told me that this was all wrong. I think our souls know there is more. The uniqueness of the creation outside my window screams to me that God’s value isn’t uniformity, but uniqueness. Because woven into each of our souls is a unique fingerprint left there by the God who knits us together.
But knitting takes time.
Emily Dickinson wrote, “The Truth must dazzle gradually / or every man be blind.” So, fear not if you have no idea who you are becoming. Because I believe the process of becoming ourselves takes a lifetime. And the suffocating pressure we place on ourselves to know our giftedness without shadows, and to understand ourselves entirely, isn’t helpful. The freedom to be ourselves isn’t found in one ‘aha’ moment. Instead we keep walking forward, and moments unfold bringing clarity into parts of our souls waiting for their time to emerge.
This means being willing to show up and share yourself with the world.
Here is the truth, friends, mothering little ones is important and hard. Often, amidst the practical and exhausting demands of the day it feels easier to shrink, to conform. But sisters, you have things to offer this world that no one else has. Sharing your gifts and talents freely with the world is your most powerful source of connection with God. It is how he continues to knit you together.
How long has it been since you spent a few small moments considering what it is you really love? That thing that makes you feel more like yourself? That feels sacred because you’re you when you do it. What are the things that make you cry? That make you angry to the point of saying, “Someone should do something about that?” Could you be the one uniquely created to do something?
Do something. Those are the key words here. And while you are doing something, be dazzled by a brilliant God who is always unfolding before us something bigger than ourselves.
As I am sitting here writing, my six year old is snuggled next me, her small feet resting on the side of my chair. She likes to sit close. This one, who I am always in awe of. Her humor, her ability to aggravate her siblings, her deep emotions and freedom to share them. Each day I learn something new about her.
And I realize the same wonder which compels me to love her unfolding personality is the same wonder I can extend toward myself. I can marvel at who I am and who I am becoming.
May we all have the freedom to throw our arms in the air as we realize — We. Are. Awesome.